Nissan employee & VR38 engine details
"I had some Japanese people over for dinner last night including a guy who works for Nissan and is here on a 3 month business trip. He's not an engineer, but he works in project planning and marketing and said he's done some work on the GT-R project. Of course, this gave me an opportunity to ask a few questions about the new car.
Sorry if you guys already knew this stuff, but I figured some might find it interesting...
1) The new engine is hand-built (we already knew this). However, something interesting is he said there are only 12 guys on this team at Nissan. So it's a highly qualified and elite team of engine builders. I guess they must be pretty busy...
2) He said that the new engine is "sealed". Nissan absolutely positively does not want average Joe's messing with this motor, so they've sealed it in such a way that they can know if it's been tampered or modified by an unauthorized person in which case the warranty will be completely void.
3) He emphasized that the engine has been tuned much closer to its limits ("giri-giri") to achieve maximum performance vs. previous models which had more "tunability". In other words, engineers consider this motor to be quite strung-out, and are actually worried that it may "explode" (maybe he meant detonation?) if modified by the hands of unauthorized tuners. This wasn't to say that the motor doesn't still have more potential, just that Nissan more than ever wants to have control over this so that buyers don't start cranking up the boost, upgrading turbos, cams, etc.
4) I asked him what the general impression in Japan is so far about the car. He said that since nobody's driven it yet, there's pretty much just one word on the street about it: Expensive.
He didn't speak English so I'm not sure if anything was lost in translation. Frankly I couldn't think of any other questions since there's so much info on the Net already. I may play tennis with him this week, so if I think of anything else interesting to ask him I'll let you all know..."